Sunday, 19 November, 2017

Equifax and Yahoo leaders apologise for hacks

Marissa Mayer Yahoo's Mayer points to Russians in data-breach apology
Juana Turner | 09 November, 2017, 00:51

"These thefts occurred during my tenure, and I want to sincerely apologize to each and every one of our users", Mayer said, according to CNet.

Mayer joined former and current CEOs of Equifax in testifying before the committee examining recent data breaches that affected millions of Americans.

In September, Equifax revealed that hackers had stolen the personal information of over 140 million USA consumers from its website.

Mayer left her position in January with a $23million severance package along with $186million in stock options after hackers stole information from billions of Yahoo users including names, email addresses, phone numbers, birthdates and security questions and answers. She said "really aggressive" pursuit of hackers was needed to discourage the efforts, and that even the most well-defended companies "could fall victim to these crimes". Because of the information contained in the field, Mayer said the company was confident that the breach occurred in 2013.

The hearing comes after Equifax said failure to install a security update may have led to exposure of information of more than 145 million people in the USA and nearly 700,000 people in the UK. Representing the company are Paulino do Rego Barros, Jr, its interim chief executive, and Richard Smith, who led Equifax at the time of the intrusion.

Senator John Thune, a Republican who chairs the Commerce Committee, asked Mayer on Wednesday why it took three years to identify the data breach or properly gauge its size. Its chief security officer now reports directly to the CEO, and a new chief transformation officer is overseeing the firm's broader response. A breach at the credit-reporting company earlier this year exposed personal data for 145 million consumers.

They say new laws may be necessary amid rising cyber attacks that threaten the privacy of personal data.

'A single federal standard would ensure all consumers are treated the same with regard to notification of data breaches that might cause them harm, ' Thune said. "Not fines, or other penalties - or real deterrents", said Connecticut Sen.

At least 145.5 million US consumers were affected by a separate attack on credit reporting company Equifax, an attack that has already been scrutinized heavily by regulators.

The Senate Commerce Committee took the unusual step of subpoenaing Mayer to testify on October 25 after a representative for Mayer declined multiple requests for her voluntarily testimony.

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